Miss Pop Rocks Still Does Not Have a Cell Phone

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

I do not have a cell phone.

A few years ago, this made me sort of an odd duck at parties. Now, not having a cell phone means I'm positively a relic if not a true freak of nature deserving of shunning by the community. Everyone has a cell phone: my 77-year-old mother-in-law, my mail man, and every 12-year-old at the bus stop. To announce that you do not have a cell phone is almost like announcing that you still clean your clothes with a tub and washboard. (No, I don't do that.)

At first, I avoided a cell phone because of the cost factor and because I truly couldn't see any dire need for it in my life. But as the years progressed, I found myself becoming increasingly irritated with ringtones going off at restaurants and theaters. I bristled angrily when I found myself having to listen to people describe their colonoscopies in graphic detail while I was standing in line at the post office. Cell phone culture was making us ruder and more self-absorbed, I decided, and the stubborn side of me vowed not to buy one on principle alone. And so far, I haven't given in.

What's it like to live without a cell phone? To me, there is a real bliss that comes with not being able to be reached. Sure, if I had a phone, I could turn it off if I didn't want anyone calling me. But I know too few people who manage to pull that off to think I'd be able to.

Not having a cell phone means never having to answer the phone at the grocery store to field Mr. Pop Rocks' last-minute pleas for Ben & Jerry's. Not having a cell phone means never being on an airplane and feeling the urge to call someone only to say, "We just landed." (Oh really? Who cares.) Not having a cell phone means never having to run frantically around a room searching for it while it rings, like a cat chasing its own tail. Not having a cell phone means not humiliating yourself when "I'm Too Sexy" starts playing out of your purse during a conversation with your mortgage broker. Not having a cell phone means getting to be alone, really alone, whenever I please.

I don't text or worry over a bad connection. I can't know about or concern myself with overage charges, unused minutes, and friends in my network Instead, at the doctor's office, at the airport, in the car, or at the store, I listen to my favorite music, work out my problems in my head or out loud, read, and - very often - sit in dreamy silence doing nothing at all.

The rebel in me has relented at bit. While I'm still not interested in getting a cell phone, I certainly can understand those who couldn't live without theirs. And I can't even say I would never, ever purchase one. The truth is, if Mr. Pop Rocks and I ever breed, I'm guessing there's a good chance I'll relent. But until that day comes, I'll relish in the quiet comfort that comes with sitting at a restaurant with friends and knowing that when a phone goes off, there's simply no way it could be mine.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.